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Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2004 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
One can simply buy a sword because one likes the look or the feel with no background knowledge whatsoever but some basic level of study has to be done before an armour purchase can be made . Am I
close ?


I believe that is an accurate summary of much of the ease of buying swords, compared to buying costumes or armor. I am willing to buy a good looking Viking sword without having any interest at all in the history of the Vikings or the way they dressed. But I waited a very long time before I bought my first piece of armor, until I had a good feel for who would have worn it and what battles it would have appeared in. Whether real study is required to become willing to purchase armor, or just a greater sense of comfort and familiarity, I could not say. In my own case I had already done quite a bit of reading before I ever learned that armor was commercially available. And even when I learned that I could buy some, I did not rush out to buy, but thought about it for many months.

Perhaps it might be different if every town had some examples in a local museum, or a reenactment group that appeared in public once in a while. People could then become accustomed to the stuff, and more aware that it can be purchased. Until then you are dealing with fairly serious hobbyists, whose tastes are nearly impossible to analyze.

Just knowing a great deal about a subject is no guarantee that a fan will be willing to go beyond buying a sword, though. I have a partner who is a real Tolkien fan (he has read the books repeatedly and seen each of the films more than once). He owns one of the swords from the LOTR movies, but I am sure he would never dream of buying any armor or clothing related to the films. And he might never have bought the sword if he had not felt that it was respectable to own one, because of his appreciation for my collection.
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Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2004 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
All this talk about armour suddenly seems to have kindled a growing fascination on my part. Something I'm not sure I really needed!


The discussion has led me to start browsing the web to see if interest has increased, and it appears that it may. I see that there are now some simple wearable suits of 14th/15th Century plate armor that are priced below $2,000US, which must mean that the manufacturers believe there are people who are willing to buy them.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2004 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
Allan Senefelder wrote:
This is the sort of thing we're looking to get insight on . What constitutes "being able to use it " ? .


Probably means different things to different folks. Could be,
I can wear it for a few hours at a time without too much damage to self , or,
I know that while wearing it it would protect me as much as an original would have done at the time, or,
I can use it in re-enactment and not get hurt too badly, or,
I can use it in re-enactment and get it by the authenticity Nazis, or,
I can slip it on for a few minutes to pose in front of the mirror and look cool.

I like to think that the first and second points matter most to me, but the last one has got to be in there somewhere, as I suggested in my earlier post. It's rather shallow, but what the heck.
Geoff


Please forgive what might be an unwise question in a "collectors'" forum. Being able to use a particular item seems to express a willingness to allow that object to be damaged or otherwise reduced in value. Wouldn't that be a strange way to treat a valuable collector's prize like a custom made sword? Why is it important to actually use it?

I ask this because I am not a collector. I read this forum because so many knowledgeable collectors comment here. I am in fact one of those brutish low lifes that think swords and armour should be used to their fullest potential in the study of combat. Both armour and weapons are just tools to me. If it looks great and accurately reproduces the function of period pieces, all the better! Big Grin The vast majority of arms and armour were not collectible, as working class hardware has survived in very, very rare circumstance. Wouldn't it be more sensible to "use" reproductions of that class instead of collectibles?

Just curious... Wink
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,524

PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2004 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
So if I understand what your saying right Steve basically its easy to collect swords because theres no book work . You
like it, you buy it, your done . One can simply buy a sword because one likes the look or the feel with no background knowledge whatsoever but some basic level of study has to be done before an armour purchase can be made . Am I
close ?


From my perspective that is a fair assessment.

Also add in that my reluctance to impulse buy armour is based on some of the impulse sword buying I've done that I later wished I had not.

That said this thread has me thinking, and discussing armour with my wife since she wanted me to buy a suit early on when I started getting swords. Right now I'm trying to feel out period and persona AND decorator value (my wife) AND budget. I'm really trying to sort out what I like and what gives me a good base to build on but the process is going to take some time.

That's why some of the character/context examples mentioned earlier would make nice marketing tools.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,524

PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2004 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:


Please forgive what might be an unwise question in a "collectors'" forum. Being able to use a particular item seems to express a willingness to allow that object to be damaged or otherwise reduced in value. Wouldn't that be a strange way to treat a valuable collector's prize like a custom made sword? Why is it important to actually use it?

I ask this because I am not a collector. I read this forum because so many knowledgeable collectors comment here. I am in fact one of those brutish low lifes that think swords and armour should be used to their fullest potential in the study of combat. Both armour and weapons are just tools to me. If it looks great and accurately reproduces the function of period pieces, all the better! Big Grin The vast majority of arms and armour were not collectible, as working class hardware has survived in very, very rare circumstance. Wouldn't it be more sensible to "use" reproductions of that class instead of collectibles?

Just curious... Wink


IMO not an unwise question.

Maybe the problem is that the line between collectable and reproduction is blurred?

In most cases I think we're really talking about collecting reproductions. High end reproductions yes, but not custom or historic collectables. Such items are largely beyond my means. I would hesistate to beat up a work of art and would never want to chew up something with real history...but that is not what I end up collecting. Hence some willingness to see them impacted.

If I really was using this stuff I'm sure I'd view it all in a more tool-like fashion and I do want to learn more about "use" since it enhances appreciation for detail and construction in my opinion. I should note that with one exception, my collection consists of high end production pieces, not custom. I have a hunch things are this way for more than a few of us. However, just because my purchases end up collected instead of used, it does not limit my desire that they could be used. Perhaps not logical but how much of human motivation really is?

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2004 5:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that the topic of use has been thrown in , and I realize that the vast majority of folks will never "use" what we do or at
best it will be a costume . That being said Mike and I had discussed a repair service . Part of our backgound is fixing
armour for the full contact troupe that rides at our faire every summer . Theres not to much that you can do to armour that can't be pounded out , replanished or reshaped . It was part of what armourers did during the period keeping armour mantained . When your car breaks down or has an accident you take it to the garage . Would having a service like this
avaliable make a difference or no ?

It seems from the educational standpoint that what you folks are saying is that we need to front load the site with a large
quantity of historical background for each piece as well as how they would be used together to create looks for different
periods or rolls in a period . This sound about right ?
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,524

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2004 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan,

Yes - But with the caveat that I always thought buying from an armourer instead of a retailer implied repair service was available if ever needed. MRL has fairly cheap armour in their catalogues that looks good to my untrained eye. I've not bought any of it because I assume quality is below par and any repairs would leave me on my own. So bringing the fact that you do repair front and center might be worth marketing, and refitting might be worth mentioning as well if available.

Yes - Definitly yes. I've been trying to research the topic more and the information I've found thus far has been of mixed use when trying to identify region and kit.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2004 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding repairing armour ( we were thinking having this service for all armour not just ours ) I will simply say that
I have never heard of that service provided nor have I seen it offered on any of the sites i've been to . This does not mean its not offered by anyone i've just never heard of it and have concluded that it may not be that common .
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Allen W





Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2004 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cost and the need for a minimum of completeness (either at least a half suit, hauberk etc. w/gambeson or a helmet,but not beginning with gauntlets) to be useable are the deciding factors that have kept me from buying armour. An additional aspect is that with swords I can usually try-before-I-buy since I have plenty of friends with their own collections from different makers and can hold others at blade shows. I also have enough experience with these to know what I like and make educated guess about how a piece will feel from pics and stats. Armour is different case entirely. I know few people who own any, no local businesses to try any on, and when I have the fit and linings are never correct for me. This latter is especially important regarding helmets and visibility.
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep, 2005 6:35 pm    Post subject: Sword vs Armor         Reply with quote

For me, I am relatively new in the medieval European fascination world, but I am also a martial artist who received a very hard earned black belt in October of 2004 in karate. I have purchased a dozen or so weapons from Arms & Armor and I practice with them daily, I also have a dozen or so books on European Swords and Armor, some of which are instructional.

First let me say, I cannot say enough good things about Arms & Armor, being a person who has an eye for quality and not the least bit ambivalent about paying for it, I consider in my opinion their quality is of the Rolls Royce level. I have 5 of their swords (so far), German Bastard Sword, English Longsword, Italian Three Ring Rapier, Knightly Riding Sword and the Henry V Sword. I am looking for diversity in my collection, rather than uniformity of one type of sword. As I like to practice with a broad spectrum of swords.

Though I do admire fine armor, swords are much more affordable for me, and being one who demands quality, I would not buy inferior armor, and being one who has to be mindful of money, it is much more advantagious to stay with swords.

In my view, one can never have too many swords and I am a dedicated Arms & Armor man. I love the feel of their swords and the balance is always perfect no matter which kind of sword I buy from them. Being a person, coming from the martial art aspect rather than a person looking to have filled sword cases to view and admire, it is critical that the sword be a weapon of superior handling.

I have seen and held a lot of swords in my early exposure to this awesome interest that we all share and I consider Arms & Armor to be a step above.

There is something about a sword that is very spiritual to me, I can't really put it into words. But for me, to watch a master of a weapon, is to see poetry in motion and Arms & Armor is my pen of prose!

Happy Collecting
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Oct, 2005 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a new (~9 months since first sword purchase) collector I would like to state my perception.

I too chose to purchase a sword (Albion Crecy Grete) first. I can "use" the sword in test cutting, and traditional drills (no opponent actually present) without excessive risks. A limited feel for dueling type combat is possible with padded sword sparring. I feel that at least to a partial degree, I am re-experiencing something historical (possibly what squires in training may have done) and love it. When guests at my home express some interest in the sword, I can retrieve it and demonstrate a little technique within 1 minute of the time that I realize they would like to see it.

I have a family to feed, and co-workers depend on me. To really utilize and test limits of armour would require a higher cost investment, more realistic sparring weapons, and probably increase the risks of broken bones/ concussions (otherwise I would see little need to wear it!) Additionally helms restrict vision, and realtively complete kits can restrict speed to a degree that "safe" sparring with padded weapons is just not as much fun as the unarmored practice. To top off the problems, my wife and many other males wifes do not really want the swords or armour displayed somewhere that is prominent in their home. At least at this point, armour seems like a high priced costume. I have every intention of collecting a "useable" transitional armour harness, but do not expect opportunities to wear/ enjoy it to be as abundant as is the case of the sword.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Oct, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Right on, Jared.

There are the two issues of maintenance and money. I can take just a few minutes with just one of my swords (clean the dust or rust of her) and be done. But imagine going through your entire suit of plate armour looking for rust. I would spend more time doing that than with my whole sword collection! Another thing about armour is that I would need one other person -- preferably two -- to help me put it on; and it would have to be someone who knows how to do so.

Then there's the money issue. When you start adding high-quality swords to your collection from makers like Albion or A&A (I have pieces from both), there's no going back to the cheap stuff. I would hold armour in the same regard. But then again, the amount of $ it would run me would be same as a used car -- $10K can get you a very good previously-owned car (or a down-payment on a house!). You get the idea.

The consideration of *practicality* comes into play much more with armor than with a sword. Just my $.02 worth. -Ted

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Jeff Johnson





Joined: 05 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When you are old & fat, you can still pick up and play with the sword you bought 30 years ago. The same cannot often be said for armor.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff Johnson wrote:
When you are old & fat, you can still pick up and play with the sword you bought 30 years ago. The same cannot often be said for armor.


There is that, but its hardly much fun to admit! Razz

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Bob Hurley




Location: Chicago area
Joined: 15 Apr 2014

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 21 Apr, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Antique armor collecting         Reply with quote

Does anyone here collect antique armor? most folks are into reproduced wearable stuff, but I like composite 16th century type suits or late 19th/early 20th century reproduction harnesses. I have one reproduction, although he happens to be holding a 17th century spanish cup-hilt rapier I'm looking to purchase two more.

I'm new to the forum, and not trying to dis anyone using armor for re-enactments, but just looking for folks the collect the historical antique suits.

Bob Hurley
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Marston Smith




Location: Malibu, California
Joined: 25 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 21 Apr, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: Collecting Armor vs swords         Reply with quote

HmI have always been bored with swords and have only obscure two handers. Instead I collect full suites and war hammers, siege crossbows and grotesque helmets. Have 12 complete harnesses and admire them each day and on certain occasions suit up all my friends for photo and film shoots.


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For the Dream
Marston
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Ben Coomer




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Apr, 2014 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geez Marston. 12?!? I am extremely impressed, jealous, and perhaps a little concerned for you sanity.

Where in the world do you put them all?

That's be the next major obstacle in me getting any harness, where to put the darn thing. After sheer cost, I'm not exactly overwhelmed with space for a man-sized and otherwise useless set of objects.
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Marston Smith




Location: Malibu, California
Joined: 25 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 21 Apr, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nothing useless about Medieval armor. I perform daily for corporate events worldwide often in armor. It is also magnificat for portrait photography and fantastic for making your own feature motion picture. Very little of my armor is period(1500's to the English Civil War) and I have some antique pieces from 1880's to early 1900's.most are reproductions.
Here is a portrait of the Baron Stanislas Klossowski de Rola(the 5th Rolling Stone)



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For the Dream
Marston
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Apr, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For some reason this want try to fight a instance where someone fought it the nude with sword against someone in a full harness but weaponess.
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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 21 Apr, 2014 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Collecting Armor vs swords         Reply with quote

Marston Smith wrote:
HmI have always been bored with swords and have only obscure two handers. Instead I collect full suites and war hammers, siege crossbows and grotesque helmets. Have 12 complete harnesses and admire them each day and on certain occasions suit up all my friends for photo and film shoots.
Great harnesses! Happy

I feel the same way. Swords have never interested me much, but nothing excites me like a good suit of armor. I don't know why, but armor's one of my favorite things in the world.

However, sword collecting has a lot of advantages over armor collecting. As others have said, you can buy just one sword and scabbard to hang on a wall or swing around. You could buy just a helmet for display, but for me, I'd want a full kit. But since it would take so much money and time to assemble a full kit, I might only be able to get one, when there are so many I want.

For example, if I got a kettle hat, I might want to follow up with a gambeson or an aketon and mail, plus some belts, shoes, hose, purses, a knife, spear, sword, and shield. However, I also would like a Mamluk/steppe horse archer kit, pagan Lithuanian armor, medieval Russian equipment, a full suit of tailored, quality plate armor of some kind, and early 17th century heavy cuirassier kit. Unfortunately, a lot of things that go with one kit would be out of place with another; I couldn't reasonably wear a kettle hat with three-quarter plate.
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